tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC March 14, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PDT
this morning my question, how would you build a police department from scratch? plus race talks, the college edition. but first, the ongoing manhunt for a shoot erer in ferguson, missouri. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. police in st. louis are still looking for the people responsible for shooting two police officers late wednesday night during a protest outside the ferguson police station. the bullets hit one officer in the shoulder and the other in the face. they were both released from the
hospital several hours later after the shooting and are recovering now at home. since then ferguson has handed responsibility for protest security over to st. louis county police and the missouri highway patrol. st. louis county chief john belmar spoke to reporters yesterday about the ongoing investigation into the shooting. >> i said yesterday that that investigation is our number one priority on the police department. you know what, it's critical. really the number one priority right now on the police department is to make sure that we continue a tempo of service and protection and relationships in the ferguson area to make sure that we don't have a regression of everything that we have been able to accomplish since last fall. >> on thursday evening protesters returned to the police station for a candle light vigil for the officers. the protest remained peaceful
and no arrests were made. the shooting came as ferguson's city government struggles with the fallout of a damning report. the doj found that the town's police force regularly violated residents' constitutional rights and targeted african-americans all in the quest for more revenue for the city budget. on tuesday the city manager john shaw resigned. the city manager is the most powerful official overseeing the entire government including the police. department running the day-to-day operations and hiring and firing all city employees. the chief of police resigned on wednesday. the judge resigned monday and the state supreme court appointed a circuit court judge to take over all of ferguson's cases and implement reforms. last week the court's top clerk was fired and two police officers resigned for sending overtly racist e-mails. city leadership is set to change
even further next month. ferguson voters will choose three new city council members in elections on april 7th. the state of missouri is also considering sweeping reforms, one bill would decrease how much of a city's budget could legally come from traffic fines. the bill would make it so cities around st. louis could not make more than 10% of their general revenue from traffic violations. any cities that go over that cap would be forced to give up the access to a state education fund and forfeit their share of st. louis county's sales tax pool. if they don't hand over the money, the county can hold a vote to disincorporate the entire city. now that bill proposed by a high ranking republican lawmaker was approved by the state senate last month and is awaiting a vote in the house. attorney general eric holder said such steps are good faith efforts to make progress and said the shooting of the two officers should not derail that
progress. >> what happened last night was a pure ambush. this was not someone trying to bring healing to ferguson. this was a punk who was trying to sew discord in an area that is trying to get its act together and trying to bring together a community that has been fractured for too long. this really disgusting and cowardly attack might have been intend. to unravel progress. >> the house cleaning has begun, but will it be enough? joining the table now is michael dyson and christina belletron and jonathan medzel. but first, i want to go to st.
louis and welcome back to the program antonio french. we just listened to the attorney general suggest that whoever fired the shots may have been trying to disrupt the progress in ferguson. if that was the motive, were they successful? >> i don't think so. there are people who have been out here for a long time and they are very focused on creating systemic change in the region. not just a few individuals being removed. not just a few resignations but actual change to a system that the doj report really outlined. the act that we saw was both cowardly and not at all productive or helpful. i hope that the police are successful in finding that individual very quick lyly. >> i'd also like to read to you part of a statement from the acting attorney general. the division will work with ferguson police and city leadership regardless of whomever is in these positions
to reach an agreement that will address their unconstitutional practices in a comprehensivekpecomprehensive manner. we're seeing big change in terms of the people in these positions, but is changing the people enough to change what is happening in ferguson? >> absolutely not. what we saw in the doj report which confirmed what african-americans have been describing as their experience for a very long time in this region, was not just the actions of a few individuals. it is a system set in place that preys upon african-americans and poor people. and what we know here in st. louis is ferguson is not even the worst. there are many municipalities around ferguson that are even worse. so the system that it described where 14% of revenue comes from ticketing citizens there's some as high as 40%. so we have to start with ferguson and has to start with a few resignations, but those are
just the first steps of a long journey. >> i want to come to the table for a moment. michael, i want to come to you because i think there's some structural issues here that appear to be nonracial in their relationship to how city government works, but nonetheless, have the enormous racial effects. i just wanted to quote the mayor of ferguson, which we now know the city manager runs everything but i make $350 before taxes for being the part-time mayor of ferguson. you want to hold me accountable for not knowing some employees send racial e-mails. . i have no authority. the charter doesn't allow me to hire, fire or give direction to employees. as i'm reading that i'm thinking about how many southern state ss, we don't want these folks to be empowered and you end up with a situation where the only people who are accountable, the mayor, makes $350 a month and says i
don't run this place. that unelected city manager runs this place. >> that's a great point. it is nonracial in its intent but it's racialized in its consequence. you have all those folks there. the white people of ferguson are going to be relieve edd by this as well. because the truth is that when you relieve the suffering economically of those most vulnerable you also have those with more at stake in the system. you're jailing me in birmingham but you and i are in the same boat. the people running the stuff, they have none of our interests at hand. it reveals the fact that personalities make a difference. very few of us have access to power. a few of us have access to strength and rule but we do have access to the clerk who will deny us access. when you do that the microaggressions begin to tell the truth about the system. neutrality favors the status quo. if you're not in the status owe,
you won't be favored. >> i love that point. let me come back to you for a moment and ask you in part about that. here is ferguson a 70% african-american city that's never had a black mayor. has only two black councilmen. an election is coming up. will this be a status quo election that will favor the status quo and behave in the neutral way, or is this going to be the first real change election? will people show up and pick different kinds of officials? >> that's the question. and i hope that the answer is that people are awakened by what we have seen and there's a change in behavior where people show up and vote in large numbers and turn the population majority into a voting majority. there's an opportunity here to get three new voices on the city council. the city council is who selects the new city manager. so it is a powerful body and
influential. but african-americans just being a population majority alone does not turn into actually being represented in city government. we have an opportunity in a few weeks to change that. >> and is there a sense of optimism in the city? >> there is a lot of frustration right now. frankly, a lot of the changes and resignationsdent ig guesses people feel should have come a long time ago. it took so long to get to those steps and has delayed the process of transformation. we're hopeful and will continue to do the hard work. our organization has registered several hundred new voters and will encourage each and every one of them to show up on april 7th. >> thank you antonio french. when we come back we'll go to those citizens that michael was just talking about. the white citizens of ferguson. what are they experiencing? what is it like to be a white citizen of ferguson? we asked a reporter to find out
in her report, and that's right after the break. congratulations. you're down with crestor. yes! when diet and exercise aren't enough, adding crestor lowers bad cholesterol up to 55%. crestor is not for people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. tell your doctor all medicines you take. call your doctor if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of serious side effects. i'm down with crestor! make your move. ask your doctor about crestor.
67% of the population of ferguson, missouri is african-american. in recent months many have sought to understand the experiences and attitudes of those black residents. fewer have asked what is happening with the people in ferguson that are white? the doj report detailing the city's pattern and practices of racial inequality changed how they feel about their city. reporter amanda sakuma is in ferguson in an effort to find out. >> reporter: good morning, melissa. there's a great. deal of nuance to the climate that is being left out of the media reports. out of those protests has been a
sharp curve for white residents here who are a bit startled to find out they may not have known their community as well as they thought. >> i have seen a lot of things happen. >> reporter: she's lived in. the ferguson for 50 years. >> i have seen the city slide down and then rejuvenate itself. >> reporter: a community steps where they have gatt. erred. white residents say they were not aware of the depth of racial tension in ferguson until the shooting by a white police officer. >> for a long time i actually was unaware there was so much unhappiness, and i feel very bad about that. i think i should have been -- i thought i was involved and apparently wasn't involved enough. >> reporter: questions of racial tensions are at the forefront of a forum after two police officers were shot on the footsteps of the ferguson police
department. >> obviously, you can cut the tension with a knife. >> reporter:. an audience of mostly white residents gathered to meet the candidates one month ahead of the local elections. many questions were raised over how public officials should mend race relations. >> it's just been very hard the last few months to be able to -- to find a way to sit down with each other. i'm hoping that as time goes on that the tension will dissipate and maybe that will give us a chance to really talk. >> reporter: many residents say they are search inging for a way to make those conversations happen, but it hasn't been easy. >> you do sit and. talk to your neighbor and someone else and get. a completely different view of something that you had absolutely no clue about.
that to me is amazing. >> reporter: i think it's fair to say that many of the residents here are earnestly want to see change but just how to achieve that and on what timeline has been a real issue for many residents here. >> amanda, we only heard from a couple voices, but you spoke with many other people. are those representative of the other folks you were hearing from? >> reporter: i do think so especially because many were concerned about the media portrayal of how their area they have lived here has been portrayed. i think this is a very tight knit community that white residents have a tight knit community and they want to see ferguson go to a better place. i think where there is a bit of tension, though is government. one issue that was raised at the candidate forum was there was some tension over some people wanted to see the police department dissolved, but others
were concerned with the idea of bringing in officers into their city and not really knowing the community. they like the idea of having officers recognizing people and knowing people by name. they didn't know whether or not that is something that can really happen here in ferguson or really around the country anymore. >> thank you to amanda sa kukuma in ferguson, missouri. still at the table here jonathan, i want to go to you on this. so much of your research is on these central questions of how white people process questions of race. what was surprising to you in that report? >> i thought that report just showed it very nicely. there are two layers going on in ferguson right now. one that's probably the most obvious is this sense of the citizens being unaware. i didn't know this was happening and how could this have been happening and standard theories of racism talk about privilege,
white privilege, as the ability to be aware. people in psychology and psychiatry talk about racism as an invisibility sin drom. that's apt here. you don't see. that's one level. that's the citizens and the kind of everyday practice. then there's the whiteness of the police. and i think that's very very complicated about the relationship to who they are policing, but it was interesting to me to think about the press conference right after the shooting of the two officers and the st. louis county police chief kept saying you don't understand how hard it is to be a police officer in ferguson. i think that's true. it's incredibly hard to be a police officer in ferguson, but i don't think it's because of the black protesters. it's because it's much harder because of particular policies that have rarnlcial implications. they have repealed any checks about handguns.
it's eviscerated budgets for police departments. they need to turn the counties into debtors prisons. so the tension on white police officers right now is about policies. it's not about the people they are policing. >> but they identify as the people they are policing. part of what happens when you hear you just don't understand what it's like. presumably, part of the benefit of this doj report was that it confirmed from an official authority what black residents of ferguson had been saying for a long time. i want to listen to president obama talking a little bit about this last week. >> one of the things that i think frustrated the people of ferguson, in addition to the specific case of michael brown, was this sense of, you know what, we have been putting up with this for years and when we start talking about it everybody is pretending like it's just our
imaginations. we're just paranoid. we're just making this stuff up. it turns out they weren't just making this up. this was happening. >> this doj report enter into this difficult conversation by providing an evidentiary basis. here it is white folks of ferguson and america, it is happening. >> this is real. we're not paranoid. this is happening. it ends up being a crucial way to expose something systemic. people who have been experiencing something can feel like a validation there. the other thing that's interesting around whiteness is this is a crisis of consciousness for white americans in ferguson in having to think about the anxieties they have about is it going to be racial justice or inversion. there's a lot of anxiety circulating underneath good intentions intentions. there's a lot of fear of racial anger. >> and the shooting of the police officers kind of gives
that a reality. >> i think there's an interesting conversation to be had about what does it mean about redistributions of fear, anxiety. certain bodies were exploited and that redistribution is going to be a hard conversation. >> it's such a good point. when we heard amanda saying they don't want outsiders policing their community. i was like welcome, welcome. they are worried about stereotypes. how they are being presented by the media. up next i'll be joined by the man who might have the answers to repairing police and community relationships. also later in the program, actor courtney vance is coming to talk about his star turn. so i got this listing. 3 bedroom, 3 bath. i have a client that lives out of state. just knew it was for her. so i tried to get her on video chat. i'm on verizon. i... i'm not. so it's not a problem.
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report on ferguson is a manual of how not to run a police department. >> the city relies on the police force to serve as a collection agency for the municipal court. as a result of this excessive reliance on ticketing, the city generates a significant amount of revenue from the enforcement of code provisions. this emphasis has fostered unconstitutional practices at nearly every level of ferguson's law enforcement system. >> our next guest has done the research on how police should behave. joining me from los angeles is phillip gulf professor of social psychology. his research informed the ferguson report and center for policing equity will be closely involved in a new program to test out community policing models in six cities. phillip, what are the six cities and why them?
what is it that you can do there that's so allusive in these other places? >> we're really excited about the initiative because it it allows us to take the research we know has worked to make police departments more fair and put it together in sort of a delicious gumbo of focus. >> justice gumbo. trademarked, heard it here first. we have six cities that are representative of cities from around the country. we have regional diversity. stockton, minneapolis, gary, pittsburgh birmingham and fort worth. the goal is, this was a big ask, it was a big lift from doj because it wasn't just justice programs, which is where most of the money would come from. it was office of violence against women, office of victims of crime, office of juvenile justice, all of them put in and
said, this is a collaborative effort. we want to see something that can affect all these communities and sub populations and all of the best science together. >> so there's a part of me that likes this idea of bringing social science and the research you have done in these communities previously. i want to listen to a moment for something else eric holder said this week specifically about the ferguson department. let's take a listen. >> we are prepared to use all the power that we have, all the power that we have to ensure that the situation changes there. that means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure. >> does that include dismantling the police force? >> if that's what's necessary, we're prepared to do that. >> to go there and say we're prepared to dismantle the police force. if you got. a blank slate, what would be your recipe for the justice gumbo? >> so the justice gumbo is about
the interventions that we've got to make. departments better. to build it from the ground up, i got to say, we have never had to try that before. we have had decrees for 20 years, but what we haven't done is taken a department into receivership and said we're going to blow the place up and start over. we do know you have to have an administrator at the top that says i want to change, i need to proactively go at issues of disparity in the way my officers treat the community. they have to do full review of policy. then they have to go ahead and get the outside resources. there's no police department that can police the community by itself. it can't do it without the help of the community. it also can't do it without external checks and balances. the important thing in this investigation and the way it's written up is the way it says you need better tools to make sure you know that you're living in parallel and consistent with
the values that you're supposed tos a pouz. that's the key to justice department involvement and any consent decree it gives tools to the people at the top to hold themselves accountable using outside resources. >> so hold for me a second. while we are doing this work while there's a lot of excitement about it there are still deaths occurring at the hands of police officers. the one that was just shocking for so many this week was the shooting death of anthony hill in atlanta. his girlfriend saying he was being treated by a v.a. doctor for bipolar disorder but stopped taking his medication because he didn't like the side effects. he was unclothed. so the idea he was hiding a weapon is pretty unlikely. >> it's not like we don't have models for what an effective police department looks like.
we have plenty of police departments that function very well. i think there are a lot of models for supportive policing. in terms of the question of mental illness, this shooting in atlanta was another example of the automatic assumptions that police officers sometimes make. it's a broader problem. it gets coded as automatic assumptions about mental illness. after the shooting of a naked unarmed african-american man in atlanta, the county police department put out a statement saying we need more mental illness training for police officers. but in the research i do, mental illness training is not enough. it's not just a question of mental illness stigma. that's with race. it's incredibly racialized and has been historically. if you want to train police officers not to have the automatic assumptions, you have to train them about race and we have seen this not just in
atlanta, but also in chicago, the albuquerque police department had a problem with automatic shooting. it's a different kind of training about race politics as well as mental illness. >> first, thank you to phillip in los angeles. we'll have you on a lot talking about how it's going in those six cities who are enthusiastic to know you'll be out there doing this work. we're going to go to one of the voices on the ground who we have been talking to since the ferguson story began. we're going to talk about the framework of healing. hey, girl. is it crazy that your soccer trophy is talking to you right now? it kinda is. it's as crazy as you not rolling over your old 401k. cue the horns... just harness the confidence it took you to win me and call td ameritrade's rollover consultants. they'll help with the hassle by guiding you through the whole process step by step. and they'll even call your old provider. it's easy. even she could do it. whatever, janet. for
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>> that was reverend trey si black mon speaking at a vigil in ferguson for the two police officers shot there the night before. joining me is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been checking in with us from the ground in ferguson since august. i feel like i ask you this every time but what is it going to take to heal ferguson? it feels like it keeps getting ripped open. >> someone spoke earlier about how the tensions have increased and anxiety is at an all-time high high. it's the tensions that force the dialogue. we need to continue to have these communications. we need to host more training and we need certainly a plethora of mental health services to support those that have been hurt by the tragedies that have gone on. >> hold on for a second. i want to bring michael dyson in on this conversation. i'm always of two minds here. on the one hand, i want communities to be mentally healthy and whole and i care about healing.
on the other hand, i worry that a healing framework moves us away from a justice one so that if the conversation becomes how do we heal it's like how do we get black folks get over being marginalize ued. >> charity is great, healing is great, justice is better. when you're on the jericho road you help the guy the first time. he gets beat up, the thooefs have attacked up. why is it every time someone goes to jericho road get. s atracked. that's a structure. we have to talk about justice. justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public. what is love translated? you need to calm down. you need to center yourself. you need to breathe. no allow me to breathe, get your foot off my neck get your hand away from my throat and i can breathe. this is why martin luther king's genius is so powerful. unlike billy graham change the
structure of society and individuals can set up the conditions for their own healing. >> i want to come to you on this. the structure and the individual in part because it's relevant in this doj context. so on the one hand this doj report is an extraordinary report about the structural patterns and practices. on the other hand, it leaves the open wound of what feels like undoubtedly for the brown family unresolved justice questions about the death of their son. and i'm wondering about how those things operate for a community that says we're having people who are moving out, new people moving into these positions, but what about the individual case that in many ways was the spark of all of this? >> absolutely. the sentiment that i've gotten here is while the doj report puts on a larger scale what has been happening in ferguson and surrounding cities for decades, it did not bring forth any real
charges or any consequences which is what everyone was waiting to see. i do agree with michael dyson 100% that healing also has to include social justice as well. so with the association of black psychologists, the type of treatment that we've been doing incorporate social justice as well. the two are paramount. you can't talk with someone in therapy or talk about healing without a conversation about racism in oppression and social justice. so real healing will include all those things. that is exactly what this community is waiting to see. >> can you hold for a second? i want to bring you in on this. to the extent that there was a harm done in this community, the shoot shooting of the two officers this week. how much does that move back the process of healing or of justice? >> i think the good thing of a horrible set of situations is that because ferguson has gone on -- we have been focused on a place for awhile and thinking about the complexities, we rarely sit with problems of
racism and talk about the strushl for any sustained period of time. you get the sense that the whole kind of commitment to activism there isn't going to let this one event be the defining event. but the other thing about healing, there's a relationship between healing and silence. when people protest, they get. to be heard. sometimes healing feels like now we're good again you can stop. how do you maintain voice and healing? how did you maintain dialogue that doesn't have to be about the newest injury but a long-term conversation? >> undoubtly, there in st. louis, missouri and the work you have been doing is about maintaining that voice. i'm sure we'll speak with you again as this process continues. michael, christina and jonathan are going to be back in the next hour. up next the coolest legos i have ever seen.
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you were clicking around online you may have come face to face with the legal justice league. lego figures representing the three current and one former women members of the supreme court. now here in nerdland we thought it was pretty awesome. these were created by mya winestock. she works for m.i.t. and says she likes to tackle feminist-friendly processes. after all, in august lego released a set of three women scientists and it was insanely popular. the three sold out in a matter of days. no such luck this time. she floated the idea past the company and was told no. apparently lego has a policy of representing current politics or political symbols in brick form.
never mind you can construct a model of the white house or the supreme court is apolitical, so yes, lego policy put a damper on that celebration of women's empowerment. however, a different corporate policy is giving some women reason to cheer. by the end of the year all women working for the global telecommunications giant would be offered a min pulmoof 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave. that may not be a big deal for employees in turkey or france but in the united states where companies are not required to grant any paid leave, their policy is welcome news. the second part of the announcement, and frankly the one that seems truly revolutionary, and once new mothers return to work they will only be asked to put in 30 hours a week for the first six months. they will receive full-time pay. what's behind the change? i would love to say it's compassion or a sense of concern
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now with the xfinity tv go app, you can watch live tv anytime. it's never been easier with so many networks all in one place. get live tv whenever you want. the xfinity tv go app. now with live tv on the go. enjoy over wifi or on verizon wireless 4g lte. plus enjoy special savings when you purchase any new verizon wireless smartphone or tablet from comcast. visit comcast.com/wireless to learn more. members of a fraternity at the university of oklahoma are facing consequences of their action this week after this video was posted to youtube showing them participating in a racist chant. after the young men in the video were identified as members of
the fraternity the university severed all ties with the organization and expelled two students who led the chant on the bus. university of oklahoma president said the decision reflected the school's zero tolerance policy towards racist behavior and hoped it would be a learning opportunity for the students involved and campus community. >> the university especially moments like these should be teaching moments. they should be teaching moments. i think that we have to really think about how we can do better. >> but doing better in response to this moment isn't only about teaching racial tolerance to the individual students involved in this incident. it also requires colleges and universities to examine the lessons they are teaching about the value of racial and kpik diversity on campus all the time. what lessons are we teaching students of color and low income
students when we preach the value of diversity as we dishasn't l the policy that was designed to cultivate it? what lesson does it teach white classmates if we allow that discourse are the benefit ris of some of unearned privilege. 1965 president johnson deployed the language of affirmative action to enforce the policy with his own executive action aimed at correcting the effects of past and present discrimination. before issuing the order, he laid out his vision of government acting affirmatively to pave the way towards equal opportunity as a moral imperative when he delivered the commencement address at howard university. >> you do not take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bringing up to the starting line of a race and then say, you are free to compete with all the others. and still justly believe that
you have been completely fair. thus, it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. all our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. >> soon after lbj issued his executive order, colleges and universities across the country enabled that ability for all americans when the adopted policies of affirmative action. after just a decade in practice affirmative action doubled the number of african-american students attending colleges and universities. in 1998 the fruit bourn of those policies were documented in "the shape of the river", a ground break. ing study of affirmative action written by the two former ivy league presidents. together they found that the legacy of the policy was less about righting past wrongs and was about creating pathways to a
better future. not only for african-american students, but also for their white classmates. in the 50 years since affirmative action the policy has been steadily eroded in courts ballot boxes and state legislatures and faces more resistance now than ever before. today racial preferences in public universities are banned in eight states, which according to an estimate are collectively home to more than a quarter of all students. in 1978 the question of affirmative action and higher education became a national plash point when it was first taken up by the supreme court in california. in that case the court split decision ruled racial quotas unconstitutional, but also held that race could be considered as part of o the criteria for college admission. university of california schools would become one of the most acute examples of the consequences of dismantling affirmative action in 1996.
that year voters decided to ban the state's public universities from considering race in admissions and financial aid decisions. while the referendum was branded as a color blind policy the result of that vote applying for admission to uc schools was immediate and profound. admission rates for freshmen from those three groups declined throughout the uc system but dropped off most sharply at the most prestigious of universities ucla and uc berkley. admissions to berkley dropped by more than 50%. in 2003 the supreme court struck down affirmative action in michigan's undergraduate admissions ruling it violated the provision for equal protection. last year the university of michigan was again at the center of a case in which a supreme court dealt another blow to policies across the country. the decision last year followed
on the heals of its ruling in 2013. while the justices stopped short of outlawing affirmative action, they raised the bar for using race and together the court's decisions over the past two years might push public universities to bood affirmative action in favor of other ways to promote deversety. focusing on socioeconomic diversity have failed. in 2014 a survey found that barely more than half of low income high school graduates are enrolled in college compared with 81% of their high income counterparts. according to a report from the brookings institute, the ability to contribute to financial aid have fallen short of reaching high achieving students to qualify for admission but can't afford the cost. so while a video may have exposed the diversity practices
of a single fraternity, the dismantling of affirmative action speaks volumes about our country's failure to commit to diversity in higher education. that is the race talk discussion that we are going to have here, next. and this is a soda a day for a year. over an average adult lifetime that's 221,314 cubes of sugar. but you can help change that with a simple choice. drink more water. filtered by brita. ♪ and introducing our new advanced filter, now better than ever. the world is filled with air. but for people with copd sometimes breathing air can be difficult. if you have copd, ask your doctor about once-daily anoro ellipta. it helps people with copd breathe better for a full 24hours. anoro ellipta is the first fda-approved product
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if you're a free-range chicken you roam free. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. it's what you do. ♪ two wheels a turnin'... ♪ welcome back i'm melissa harris-perry. the fraternity at the university of oklahoma hired an attorney after this video got the chapter kicked off campus. ♪ >> after the chapter was closed the university expelled two students that had leadership roles in the incident. the university of oklahoma president had a strong message for the other students who were involved. >> would i be happy if they left
the university as students and no longer our sfunts you betcha. we don't have room for racists at the this university. i would be glad if they left. >> the national organization supports the university's decision and is moving forward with plans to permanently revoke the membership of the members of the suspended chapter. they have disputed statements that they were taught the song by other members of the fraternity. steven jones, who represented the oklahoma city bomber, was hired by alumni members who served on the board of the local sae chapter, which has severed all ties with the national headquarters. the university's decision raises legal questions about amendment rights of the students and that the chapter is not ruling out legal action against the school. >> it was the president of the university himself who said in a recent case that the university of oklahoma believes every
student deserves a second chance. we certainly think that's true for the members of the sae house. >> in response to the video, university of oklahoma students this week sent a message of their own assembleing a coalition to rally at the sae frat house. joining me is michael eric dyson, professor at georgetown university. christina belltron at new york university. and the assistant vice president for student diversity at nyu. so monroe, i wanted you here in part because, for me what happens on the bus is deplorable. but all of us are at universities and i keep thinking, man, our kids are not -- we have a responsibility to these young people and so
much of what our universities have taught them is that people of color are not the same. they are to be a little devalued. that they are not like the rest of us. if we teach that, how else can we expect any other outcomes? >> that's why i believe we have to go beyond zero tolerance policy and think about what are we doing as an institution to make certain that our black students our students of color, our disabled communities are humanized. that white students know that these students matter as well. they have an understanding of that these students have a right to be on campus. their lives matter too. black lives matter. so i think not just zero tolerance policy but what's our accountability as an institution to ensure that these students get educated as well. >> that zero tolerance policy made my ears go up. okay but when you say there are
no room for racist actions at a university are you serious? away do you think that racism is? so it just felt like in this moment that racism equals public utterances of the "n" word. i wonder whether or not they hire staff in a way that is the kinds of labor policies that we see of staff. what have these students been taught about staff of color. >> it's amaze ugh. it becomes really about the evil intent. versus impact structural inequality. i think we need to think hard about the language of educating them. because here's the thing. this drives me crazy. these students on the bus, i think it's like they pooped themselves. but the labor that's supposed to happen at that point is people of color, students of color are supposed to drop everything
we're doing and go get the wipes and deal with this. i think it's really important that universities are places of intellectual life. we have to become multicultural ambassadors and students of color, you know how much time it's taking from them to write their papers to do the research. there's a loss of intellectual time. i think we need to rethink some of the logics here and really -- i want them to wear white arm bands and have study groups. >> i want them to have a sill bis. >> i want them to say to white students, you need to talk and figure out your stuff. we're here, but we're not going to let you drag us into your drama. this is the drama of white supremacy. >> but the point there, i want them to have study groups. maybe expulsion is right. i'm not a fan of expulsion
because what happens when you kick someone out of your space, now you lose an opportunity to be engaged in that space. that said if they are going to stay, could we get a sill bis, can we get. some reading, it's a university. let's engage. we don't do much. we read books, we talk about things and try to intervene ideas. >> you're making a great point. on the one hand he's saying zero tolerance for that racist bigotry. if e he doesn't do this first act, there's no reaction and we have this conversation. but when you teach classes here, we are challenging the bias and the white supremacists unconscious that has shaped the mind sets of our students. when we stand there embodied as people of color, we are repudiating inhumanity. when we challenge the prevailing ideas, then white students get
discombobulated and i create tension in my classroom to create an atmosphere where all white students and black and brown and red students can feel a safe space but also to be challenged in that space. what we do now, we scapegoat these students. >> i mean, so how easy is it to take these students and say, there is american racism. when we got. rid of affirmative action, black enrollment went dun by 30%. if the state courts show up and reduce -- say look all these people of color who are here aren't qualified to be here we don't want them here. students appear on a homogeneous campus with people of the same racial category and bizarre things come out of their mouth. this is not a surprising outcome to these policies.
>> it's remarkable that michael's point is right on. it's amazing how quickly we mobilize around explicit racism. and the thing is the people who say that stuff, it's not really that acceptable to say that kind of stuff. we are very good at mobilizing that. that pushes people into implicit racism. we actually do the opposite. we don't mobilize able implicit racism. you're right, it's not just about the diversity of the b student body. even in oklahoma after the affirmative action ban they changed the racial makeup of the staff. people graduate from those schools and get. jobs so there are fewer physicians of color, fewer people working in oklahoma. the ban in a college changes the entire community. the
the. >> it hurts the white community. the lack of affirmative action hurts white people. you're from nebraska and play the violin. e we need you in our college. colleges and universities have determined access and admission predicated upon difference. the racial difference or gender difference or sexual difference is one among many. >> and one among them that has historical relevance. courtney vance on that lawn chair episode of scandal that everybody is talking about. i'm bringing in a student right into this discussion when we come back. ever since darryl's wife started using gain flings, their laundry smells more amazing than ever. (sniff) uh honey isn't that the dog's towel? (dog noise) hey, mi towel, su towel. more gain scent, plus oxi boost and febreze for 3 big things in one gain fling.
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have seen images of students or faculty wearing tape over their mouth with the word "unheard" written across it. this protest is represented of the. needs of african-american students on ou's campus are met. the genesis of this protest predates the release of the infamous video in the wake of the michael brown shooting a group. of students got together to talk about how to make black lives matter on their campus and created demands for the ou administration. the unheard organization was one of the first to to receive and disseminate the video. one of the group's founding members joins me now from the ou campus in oklahoma. it's so nice to have you. can you talk to me about why you started unheard, what it represents? >> unheard really represents just we wanted -- we understood what was going on in ferguson, missouri but we understood that could have been norman
oklahoma. we understood that there are things that were on our campus at the university of oklahoma that we could make better for not only african-american students, but other students as well. those are some of the things we're pushing for. >> tell me maybe the top two things or top three that are in that demands that you presented to ou. >> black representation and executive hire ar i can and retention rates. >> stick with us. you heard the first thing the students are suggesting is representation in higher administration. what difference does that make? >> it makes a huge difference. i want to commend the students for their activism and say it's not their responsibility. the institution has to make these decisions and strides and not wait for students to say we need these things. we need to have representation. we need to have inclusion. we need to have these classes and seen r your leadership. i think it makes a huge difference for all students.
i was just in china meeting with our students at nyu and the difference it made for me being in this role as a black man in china are students to see me and know someone that is working on these issues. chinese students students from other races and nationalities and backgrounds, who are so excited to spend time and to talk about these issues that otherwise may go unheard if we don't have people in these roles doing this work. but along with that not only people doing this work but many different disciplines. it can't just be people of color work on race and diversity issues. you have to be across the board so students know and also the institution knows that we can represent our all types of disciplines. >> in the wake of this video, have you experienced a different level of solidarity with students who are -- who maybe before when you were launching the unheard campaign didn't hear what you were saying or weren't
standing with you. has this video changed who your constituency is, who is supporting you? >> yes, ma'am, it has changed. in the beginning there were some faculty that stated they didn't necessarily know that racism occurred on campus or black students and other students from other minority groups that they didn't know they experienced some of these racism but now that it's in everyone's face and the video has been shown, people are more understanding. so a lot of people are binding together and trying to support one another in this time. >> you made me smile when you called me ma'am. stick with us. . don't go anywhere. she's a good southern girl. interestingly enough i'm thinking we know the rules of discourse. we know how it is that one demonstrates respect on a campus. we also know that young people make young people mistakes and part of what a university is
meant to do is to be laboratory for democracy. i guess my angst is in a democracy, you're going to be with people who are going to say mean things about you and disagree. what i love where there's already a social movement at ou to respond. there's a part of me that want toos let the laboratory play out. >> you have to have the ugliness of the experiment in order to enjoy the fruits of the process. and in this case it is ugly because these white guys saying the stuff we said and saying we're shocked. we put it all on their backs. not on the liberal professor who is are silent in the face of whies supremacy. so that our systems which perpetuate a legacy of inequality are not held accountable. we'd rather hold those 19-year-old boys accountable versus us accountaccountable. we refuse to the look in the mirror.
if you can't do it in the classroom, where else can you do it? >> when you have teen eurotenure there's no other place that should be capable o of revealing our weaknesses and insufficiencies so it's a learning experience for our students. i appreciate your courage in the face of both the preexisting structural issues that you were talking about. i see you as such a model of my students at wake forest university who have been active at campuses across the country. y'all just keep it up. up next, myillennials and the data we didn't see coming. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins
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of students we had seen in the now infamous racist chant video. that overwhelming response to acts of over racism fits with our general understanding of how younger generations understand racism. news organizations have provided plenty of polling that show on issues ranging from interracial marriage. millennials are more tolerant. the truth is more kplicomplicated and these facts and figures appear to show that. it's pointed out in the politico magazine when it comes to support from programs aimed at furthering racial equality millennials aren't as progressive as we think. support for these programs is not much different than their parent's generation. all this means that while millennials have an easier time looking at the chanting fraternity video and denounceing
it as racist her not cognizant of the context in which that behavior is occurring. for me the e question is so whose fault is that? >> let me answer that. >> you're the white man. you tell us about it. >> in that case i'm going to take the my lelillennials will save us line. that piece was terrific. i wish the millennials would save us. the millennials are only going to save us on dating websites because it seems like they are more. progressive about about who date. in terms of a much bigger economic phenomenon which is that my yen lals are growing up in a tremendous amount of economic imbalance. it pushes racial differences significantly. it's also important they are growing up in an era where
there's less trust in the structures that created equity. if you look in the 1960s, the polls were unbelievable. trusting government was almost 80% in the 1960s. people believed in the institutions that made society more ekquitable. but voting rights, other kinds of economic initiatives. trusting government is about 20 or 30%. to me, it seemed crazy that we were going to ask them to ask a world that is the opposite. >> it rearticulates the personal resolution. there's a disparity between anatomical and structural. just because you like a big black behind doesn't mean you're behind blacks in a big way. >> it speaks to an interesting and important moment we live in now which is that there's enhanced racial presence but not enhanced racial justice. we have more diversity and this table embodies that. but what there isn't is ongoing real efforts or there's enormous
structural inequality that gets masked by enhanced diversity. the students feel like they live in this diverse space and don't want to think about the prison industrial complex. >> i think it depends on which millennials millennials. what we talked about at 10:00, that wasn't because eric holder was like i think we'll go to ferguson and figure out how to fix it. it's because millennials were like, excuse me this is what it looks like. they are changing what the world is. >> race makes a difference. even though some of those younger black people are conservative, black people who are young came up with black lives matter. they are the ones who recapitulated the logic of an earlier generation. i think they are pushing us and pulling us. this is the only thing i
disagree about education. it's my responsibility as a black professor, there's extra stuff i do they don't pay for me but it's on my vocation. black students i said yes, it's unfair. but it is real. martin luther king jr. didn't get paid for that either. you have to take up the cross of educating. if you don't educate them somebody else will miseducate them. as a result of that they are going to be misinformed. >> what's the accountability of older generation to pass on to younger people that racism still exists. it might look different. you're not going to hear the "n" word. >> me and the millennials, good night. but it's not like they don't get -- it's the millennials after all who are saying i, too, am harvard. i came up at the one golden little moment when there were affirmative action policies active effort to make sure we
were diversifyied. we were fighting but these young people on campus and in the streets have been like, let me explain to you, i'm not happy here. this is not enough. >> some young people. not all of our young people. >> it's never everybody. despite the fact that in selma everyone claimed that all of them were there, it's never everybody. >> it's always a community of activists at the van guard of the moment. the kids who invented those are the vocabularies that activists are creating. we do not know what they are going to create and that's exciting. >> let me say this. for me when i think about the value of college, college should make you encounter hard things. if you made it thu college and only happy and excited, your college failed you. if you had things that were hard and had to work through them that was the preferable
experience. especially if you spend a lot of money on it. thank you to the panel. up next the blurred line between creativity and procreation. oh yea, that's coming down let's get some rocks, man. health can change in a minute. so cvs health is changing healthcare. making it more accessible and affordable with walk-in medical care, no appointments needed and most insurance accepted. minuteclinic. another innovation from cvs health. because health is everything. why do i take metamucil everyday? because it helps me skip the bad stuff. i'm good. that's what i like to call, the meta effect. 4-in-1 multi-health metamucil is clinically proven to help you feel less hungry between meals. experience the meta effect with our multi-health wellness line. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because it gives me... zero heartburn!
chest congestion. really? new alka-seltzer plus day powder rushes relief to your worst cold symptoms plus chest congestion. oh, what a relief it is. here we go! on tuesday a federal jury in los angeles ordered recording artist robin thicke to pay $7.4 million because their smash hit "blurred lines" sounded too close to "got to give it up." the jury ruled they ripped off elements of the classic without credit or permission. his children who owned the copyright want to halt all sales of "blurred lines" until an agreement can be reached. during the trial williams testified that all the songs had in common was the feel. that did not constitute infringement. thicke's interview with "gq"
told the magazine said it was one of his favorite songs of all time and williams they should make something with that groove. why don't we take a listen and you be. the judge. ♪ >> turned out feel -- we haven't had music in awhile. it was exciting. feel and groove were enough to rule that "blurred lines" infringed on the song. in a statement released tuesday, thicke and williams said while we respect the judicial process, we're disappointed in the ruling made today which sets a horrible precedent for creativity going forward. it was created from the heart and minds of pharrell and robin and t.i. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else. we're reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us about
this matter. michael eric dyson is still with us. joining me now is j. key cho. so tim, did they get the ruling right? >> i don't think so. i think the judge should have taken this away from the jury. the problem is the two songs don't share any notes. and it's never been the case in copyright law that you can win a lawsuit just for take inging the style. artists are always borrowing each other's style. people play the rolling stones and chuck barry and the idea you can be break the law and have a federal ban on your song because you stole the style goes too far. this decision will get reversed. >> you made this point that also there's a question of whether or
not the family even owns the style part because they owned the sheet music of the song but not the performance aspect. >> there's two kinds of copyrights in any song. there's the notes themselves and there's how you play the notes. and the estate only owns the notes notes. >> the notes are the things it doesn't share in common. >> that's right. >> on the one hand, there's a fundamental legal question and whether or not they got it right. the other is, did they steal the song? >> i think it's a matter in court of the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law. the song sounds so much like "got to give it up."
but when i first heard it i assumed it was an interpolation. i would have seen acknowledgment but they didn't do that. when the family says we're exploring our options because we're not comfortable with what happened. this sounds like our dad's song, a modest check could have been written. but the arrogance and the attitude with which farpharrell and r bin thicke addressed the accusations and the idea that pharrell being a black artist, a very successful one, knowing the history of black artists losing their sound, not the notes or the legality of it but their sound being taken by other artists and not being able to do anything about it and how much that's costs artists considering marvin gaye died almost penny penniless penniless. >> one is a question of whether or not this has a chilling artistic effect because it's not
legally quite what it is versus like really robin thicke seems like a not nice guy. particularly in this context. he took marvin's music so we're mad about it. and for me the other piece of it is but taking an artist's music -- coming out of a hip hop generation. "blurred lines" is not hip hop, but. it's changed the musical game. you weren't supposed to buy people's rhymes but sample inging their music was considered an homage. >> it was definitely the only way for artists to create music because a lot of these kids come from nothing. they didn't have access to actual creating original music. so when public enemy and the bomb squad was making samples from james brown, it wasn't like we're going to take james brown music and make money from it. that was the only access they had to that style of music. >> it's the basis for the
creation of the form itself. >> exactly. >> but they are going to make a difference between robin thicke and t.i. and pharrell. i think pharrell is a genius myself. what he does with music -- >> why? >> do you call an artist who borrows a lot of different things and puts them together i'm saying the style of collaging is taking source. james brown ripped himself off. >> this is a claim for synthetic genius. because msnbc, we talk a lot about genius and trying to reflect on it. we have a tendency to believe only originality. >> no idea is original. >> the last original person was god. >> first of all, you just made god a person. >> i will stick with that all
morning. but you're right, people borrow from each other. in the 17th century they had no conception of what this was about. there's a sweet promiscuity about creativity. they can uncon -- the point is i feel the same vibe when i feel that song. that's either homage or that's thievery at a certain level. >> a quick break. i also want to ask somebody who only produces intellectual property, how do you protect it? but before we do let's pause please as this is after all nerdland. we must at least acknowledge that today is pi day. that being march 14th, 2015. making the date the first five digits of pi. 3.1415. but how jealous am i that it
fell to our friends at up to extend the pi out further on march 14th in 2015 at 9:26. >> you're going to have frozen to experience this again in one second, boom we're all matched up. we have stopped the clock. how do you feel? >> it's like a planetary alignment. you won't see that until 2115. >> how does it feel? >> very refreshing. >> well played steve kornacki. we'll be right back.
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for sudden copd symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, or high blood pressure. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, prostate or bladder problems, or problems passing urine as anoro may make these problems worse. call your doctor right away if you have worsened breathing chest pain, swelling of your mouth or tongue, problems urinating or eye problems including vision changes or eye pain while taking anoro. nothing can reverse copd. the world is filled with air and anoro is helping people with copd breath air better. get your first prescription free at anoro.com. from honestly free from pharrell williams and robin
thicke's chains and what they try tried to keep on us and the lies that were told. >> that was marvin gaye's daughter this tuesday outside of the courthouse. she had a strong emotional reaction talking about it as chains chains. i really -- it's been this fraught moment of saying, i feel like this is chilling for creativity. on the other hand all i produce is intellectual property and i like the idea of protecting it. >> the idea you can make something and someone can make a new version and r more noise and there's nothing you can do about it it's wrong. i feel bad for this family. certainly pharrell and robin williams are not the only ones that have done this. we just haven't noticed. maybe it didn't spend 13 weeks at the top of the charts. this is somebody who created so much impacted so many careers and was left with so little for himself and his family.
>> it would have made a difference had marvin gaye had been alive. look at what r. kelly took the feel of the isly brothers, but he helped produced their album. he borrowed from. >> both have distressing gender policies. >> it's definitely one of the great. est records of the last 15 years. >> so here's my point though. marvin gaye. when he brought that original beat. he was like i don't do disco but he did it. marvin gaye was a collaborator. he didn't create the original idea but if you brought something to him, he turned that thing into a classic. he was the ultimate collaborator and would have enjoyed collaborateing with them. >> let me go back a little
further. 1989 and vanilla ice and "ice ice baby." that song used "under pressure" without credit. he ends upset ling out of court. tom petty grabbed royalty for "stay with me." are these -- has music changed? has the law around music now changed for this? >> i would say it's moving. if this verdict is upheld, i'd say it's moving and more people will be incentivized to sue to try to copy this lawsuit. there's a big difference between this case and vanilla ice case. that song took the notes. it's a blurred line. >> for the win. well played, michael eric dyson. >> usually there's a difference
between the style and notes. you can't steal someone's expression, but you can take their ideas. you can borrow their style and genera, i'm like to write like marvin gaye but you can't take the song. vanilla ice took the song and that's the difference. >> we were having a disagreement about that. >> this is an important question. the idea of style and this notion of that so much of what hip hop has done is reimagining and e reinterpretation. it got in a lot of trouble early and then it defended itself. they said no this is what we are, this is what we're doing musically. >> you also got to understand the music from the '80s to the '90s, a lot of the hip hop music that came in the '90s were very much sample driven. some of the best records came from that era because it was sample driven. >> "american gangster" is all -- >> speaking of which, marvin
gaye is on the album. guess who they got the dough and the people who were homaged got screwed. you got to talk about what's beginning on. >> if you look at the career of pharrell versus the '90s producers, this is somebody who came in the game not relying on samples. that's what major him a star pr for him to say this is a death nail to creativity no because what made you special is you didn't sound like anyone else. >> is it a death nail given that he does sound like somebody else? >> he needs to go back to the pharrell we first fell in love with 20 years ago. >> the woman is getting the last word. woman gets last word. thank you to the panel. up next courtney vance will join
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than 9.5 million viewers tuned into "scandal." scandalous plot twists and drama. but this particular episode had real-life headlines. a young unarmed black man was shot and killed by a white police officer and the young man's father demanded justice. >> how long has the body been here? >> half an hour waiting on the coroner. >> you need to move that body out of street. one misstep -- >> the father clarence parker then places a lawn chair over his son's body and refuses to leave until the truth is
revealed. the man playing the role of clarence is courtney b. vance. he joins me now from los angeles. i cried for most of the episode. how emotional was the process of making it? >> it was very emotional. when we finished, we all said this was an epic experience for all of us. the issues are large. the topic was broad and topical. so it was very emotional making it. but i'm just grateful that kerry washington was so giving to me stepping into their very, very tight show. so they're wonderful to be a part of. >> there's an extraordinary moment towards the end. i'm sorry, spoiler alert. but there's a moment toward the end where kerry washington's character is speaking directly
with your character about basically what actually happened in this moment. let's take a listen to it. >> this is what brandon was reaching for. this is what was in his pocket. a receipt for his new cell phone phone. he didn't have a knife. the officer who shot your son is behind bars. ♪ mr. parker. >> there have been some -- i'm not necessarily among them but i want to say, there are some who have been critical of that moment because they say what the show does is gives us the perfect victim and that even if this fictional kid had been
reaching for a nifrknife, he still shouldn't have been shot. does making it a receipt help you get how of dealing with what sometimes is messier on the ground? >> we all know life is life and television is television. the issue is -- i don't want to get bogged down in the show not reflecting correctly life. we all know that life is messy and we have a messy situation in ferguson. it's even messier now. but the main thing for me is that we have to talk about these issues. obviously there's a difference the way white folks see policemen and sometimes in the way black folks say policemen and police officers. we need to talk. both sides need to come together. that scene in "scandal," that episode where the police officer just went on a rant about who he was as opposed to us and them. and that's the issue.
the issue is they're there to protect and serve, but they have another not agenda but duty to protect each other as they protect and serve. and sometimes those two duties get blurred. and we need to help them with that to keep things clear. and also it's about how we weren't raised to see police officers as protecting us. so we've got to reeducate -- there's a reeducation process that needs to happen so that we don't automatically jump and say, they're going to hurt us and they don't necessarily jump and want to hurt us. as a black man, i had a police officer story. i think quite a few black men have police officer stories. >> i thought it was so important shonda rimes tweeted during the show, we captured reactions on
the faces of other officers in the scene because as we all know every cop is not jeffrey newton. it's in part the subtlety of what -- as you point out, there's a difference between fiction and real life. the episode is relatively swift in its resolution, it can get to a place of justice, you get the a.g. out there, get to the white house before it's all over and you can resolve the case. i wonder if the attorney general is thinking i'm going to call shonda rimes and say, girl, it's just not that easy. there's something valuable about being able to resolve it being able to do that work on air. >> you know let's just look at at -- we need to talk. that's the bottom line is that people need to air out their feelings and they have to have a forum to do that. otherwise, it's going to come out in other ways. if you don't let people talk and if you don't get it out in terms of -- in a form that's conducive
to calmness and letting people -- when they're getting their say, that means they have to hear the other side. they have to hear it. and the police officers -- we can actually see and go oh wow, that's true they do have -- that was a tough -- i can see if i was in a position what would you do when the adrenaline is flowing and you have to make split decisions? you go on your gut, on how you are raised. >> courtney b. vance in los angeles, i so appreciate because at the core of that show was this question what if it was your child? >> that's right. >> and the way you played it and made us all feel, no way you could walk away from that episode and not ask yourself the question, what if it was my child? that's our show for today. i'll see you tomorrow morning, 10:00 a.m. eastern. tomorrow, we're going to talk about this have we moved beyond the information age and entered into the too much information age?
it's a tmi edition of "melissa harris-perry." time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." new arrests in a brutal fight inside a mcdonald's restaurant. one of the suspects was pulled off a plane. it's out but will you buy it. whether consumers will snap up the apple watch. and the once-in-a-lifetime moment happening today. meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one
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